RAC Cars News


What Is In A Name?

By raccars Published

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Mercedes is making a brave (or foolhardy?) attempt to bring back the Maybach name, to represent its growing new range of flagship models. The models will form a kind of separate sub-brand, identified by the Maybach designation.

The first model in the range will be a halo version of the S-Class, to be called the Mercedes-Maybach S600. It is due to be introduced at the LA Motor Show next week, featuring an extended wheelbase compared to the current longest S-Class and will be even more spacious inside than the large, but now defunct, Maybach 57.

The interior will be taken to new heights of luxury, even for Mercedes, and will come with a huge variety of customisation options. There's mechanical luxury too in the form of a 530bhp 6.0 litre V6. The car should reach the market early in 2015, priced with a premium of about £10,000-£15,000 over the standard S-Class long wheelbase. This means somewhere around £130,000. Mercedes is planning to follow up this model with a Maybach S500 V8 and S400 4Matic. Little has been said so far about a Maybach version of the upcoming S-Class Pullman and Mercedes remains coy about the possibility of a Maybach line SUV. The company claims that the Maybach influence could spread wider, but only if the highest standards of luxury are maintained.

As well as applying the Maybach designation to its flagship models, Mercedes is also planning a rationalisation of its current naming strategy. Existing models fall under one of the core series A, B, C, E and S. Going forward, the prefix GL is to be applied to all SUV models, followed by the letter of the core series to which it belongs. This means the GL will become the GLS and the ML will become the GLE. The GLA has already been launched and next year will see a new GLC.

The same format applies to other models, with four door coupes receiving the prefix CL and roadsters SL, meaning the SLK will become the SLC. Apparently, the SL and the G-Class will be exempt from the tinkering of nomenclature, as they are apparently too famous and beloved as they are to risk changing their names.

Similar treatment will be given to how the company names it engines, from now on going for a simpler system, whereby a lower case suffix indicates powertrain information, such as d for diesel, h for hybrid, e for electric and plug ins and f for fuel cell.

The new scheme is set to begin in January 2015.

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